The Missoula Butterfly House & Insectarium believes deeply that regardless of where you live, or how your school year is unfolding, you should have access to engaging, powerful educational opportunities. With that belief in mind, we have developed an exciting and fun set of programs available to anyone with an internet connection and webcam.

In these uncertain times we’re living in we know teachers and families are looking for ways to connect with engaging educational content from a distance. To support teachers, students, and families around the country, we’ve further updated our programs so that participants can all log on to experience an MBHI field trip from the safety and comfort of their homes.

What’s included?
– Live Bug Ambassadors are featured in every program.
– A knowledgeable presenter that loves bugs and kids and is excited to introduce your classroom to their new 6, 8, and many-legged friends.
– Complete technical support to ensure a stress and hassle-free experience.
– Information about how each program supports NGSS standards.

Who can participate?
Distance Learning programs from the Missoula Butterfly House & Insectarium are great for a wide range of learners. Whether you’re a group of families homeschooling together or a formal classroom teacher, we’re excited to work with you and your students! There’s also no need to be in Missoula or even Montana. Thanks to the power of distance learning technology we’ve been able to work with students from around the country! We typically work with grades K – 5 but are able to adapt most programs for middle and high school level students as well.

Technical Requirements: Programs are delivered via Google Meet, Zoom or Microsoft Teams and are accessible to anyone equipped with a computer with a webcam, microphone and internet connection. Full tech support will be provided throughout the process as needed.

Cost: $40 per program, per class.

Scholarships: In an effort to ensure that as many schools as possible are able to experience exciting arthropod education, we work hard to ensure that scholarship funds are available each year. We’ve been busier than ever with our field trips this school year, providing unique and impactful education opportunities for schools across Montana. Thanks to some generous sponsors, we’ve been able to offer field trip scholarships to over 100 classes this year (more than a threefold increase from last year). Unfortunately, we have distributed all available scholarships for the 2020/2021 school year. We sometimes have community members ask to sponsor a class in need for a virtual field trip. Click HERE to add your name to our “wait list” of classes interested in such a sponsorship.

Program Length: Programs for grades 1 – 8 are one hour long. Kindergarten programs are 45 minutes long.

Scheduling: We’ll work with you to pick a date and time that works for your class, family, or homeschool group.

NGSS Standards: Distance learning programs from the Missoula Butterfly House & Insectarium are designed to accommodate a range of ages and grade levels. With that age range in mind we have identified the Crosscutting Concepts, Science and Engineering Practices and Disciplinary Core Ideas that each program supports. Our Creative Creatures and Bug Biomimicry programs, however, have grade level specific NGSS standards that they address. Creative Creatures addresses K-LS1-1, while Bug Biomimicry addresses 1-LS-1. Learn more about the standards that each program addresses by taking a look at our in-depth standards information document.

Program Descriptions:
Program descriptions below include the grade level or range each program is best suited to support. Most programs can be easily adapted for a variety of ages and grades. The first three programs described below, while still being able to be scaled for a range of ages, specifically address NGSS standards for kindergarten, first and second grades. We are happy to answer any questions you might have and help you pick the program that best fits your needs and interests.

Creative Creatures (K – 5th, ideal for kindergarten):
Standards: “Use observations to describe patterns of what plants and animals, including humans, need to survive” (NGSS: K-LS1-1)
What would a bug look like if it were perfectly adapted to camouflage with your backyard? In this fun and creative program, students will practice their observation skills on bugs from around the world that are experts in the art of camouflage, discussing how these traits help them to survive. The adventure wraps up with a chance to design an insect, a brand new species, using leaves and other natural elements from around your yard.

Bug Biomimicry (1st – 5th, ideal for 1st grade):
Standards:“Use materials to design a solution to a human problem by mimicking plant and animal structures and functions that help them survive, grow and meet their needs” (NGSS: 1-LS1-1)
What kind of inventions can we come up with if we use the bugs around us for inspiration? This program introduces students to our Bug Ambassadors and the inventions that they have inspired. The program is capped off with a simple engineering challenge inspired by water striders that students can do at home with their families.

Powerful Pollinators (2nd – 5th, ideal for 2nd grade):
Standards: “Develop a simple model that mimics the structure and function of an animal in dispersing seeds or pollinating plants” (NGSS: 2-LS2-2)
This fun program turns students into scientists! Together we’ll explore pollination from the perspective of the many insects that excel at the art of moving pollen. We’ll virtually investigate real pollinator specimens and study a live Bug Ambassador. A post-program take home activity extends the learning experience by helping students understand just how important pollinators are for our ecosystems, and dinner plates!

Super Spiders (1st – 5th): We cover everything from spider anatomy and feeding habits to how they grow and defend themselves. We’ll meet a wide range of spiders and dispel old and inaccurate spider myths.

Beetlemania (3rd – 5th): Did you know that there are more beetle species in the world than there are mammal, bird, fish, and reptile species combined? We’ll learn all about how this beetle diversity developed, what makes a beetle a beetle, and the adaptations that help them survive and thrive in ecosystems around the world.

Little Things, Big Jobs (2nd – 5th): Who runs the world? BUGS! During this fun program, students will get the chance to learn about three major roles arthropods have in our ecosystem. We’ll talk about the importance of pollination, the balancing act of predation, and the dirty and messy world of decomposition.

Millipede vs. Centipede (3rd – 5th): While at first glance millipedes and centipedes might seem like essentially the same animal, we can assure you they are actually quite different! During this program, students will become pros at recognizing the difference between these two amazing animals. You’ll even get to meet our giant African millipedes and we’ll end the program by feeding our largest centipede.

Reach out to Carolyn Taber at 406-317-1211, or via the form below to schedule and learn more.